Matthew 5:13-16

February 10, 2023
Author: Hannah DeVivo

Peace be with you!

Last Sunday’s Gospel was an excerpt from Jesus’ famous Sermon on the Mount. In it was a beautiful example of what Christ calls us to be. I will be focusing on it in today’s blog.

“Jesus said to His disciples:
‘You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.’" -Matthew 5:13-16

In this passage, Jesus compares us (His disciples) to three things: salt of the earth, light of the world, and a city on a hill. Each of these things are unique and serve an important function. All three of them do not exist for themselves, but for others. By their nature, they enhance, preserve, destroy, illuminate, and lead. Their goodness enables others to taste, see, and discover what is true, good, and beautiful. Similarly, their qualities uncover and vanquish what is false, bad, and ugly.

You are the Salt of the Earth

Salt is very valuable and has many uses. One of its main functions is to season. It enhances the flavor of the ingredients that it is mixed with. It brings out the subtleties and actually enables that item of food to taste more like itself. Salt is also used to preserve. Before refrigeration, salt would be used to preserve meat. Salt can preserve food for many months, and sometimes years. It can also be used to destroy land. If the level of salt in the soil is too high, water can flow from the plant roots back into the soil. Salting the earth, or sowing with salt, was the ritual of spreading salt on the sites of cities razed by conquerors in order to poison the fields and prevent a resurgence.

You are the Light of the World

We all know the importance of light. Light means illumination. Without light, we could not see. Beauty in darkness cannot be seen or experienced. We need light to enhance the world around us. Light also reveals that which is dirty, ugly, and imperfect. We need light to see the dangers in our midst and It helps us to cast them out.

You are a City Set on a Hill

Why did Jesus liken us to a city set on a hill specifically? In those days, landmarks were an integral part of navigation. If you needed direction, you could seek out a landmark, such as a large city set atop a hill, and gather your bearings from there. If you were going to meet a friend, you could tell them “The valley we will meet at is left of that city on the mountain”. Without such large places or objects to guide you, it would be hard for you to know where you’re going.

The Risk of Not Following the Call

In this passage, Jesus also shares with us the peril of rejecting who we are called to be. What if salt lost its savor? It would lose its power. It could neither enhance nor preserve what is good. It could not destroy what is bad. Light under a basket could expose nothing. Nothing beautiful could be seen. It could not expose what is hazardous. If we do not answer the call, the world around us will suffer.

The Call to Evangelization

Brothers and sisters, as members of the body of Christ, we have a job to do. We are called to be light, salt, and a city set on a mountain top. We are called to enhance and shine light on the goodness of what is around us. We were chosen to be the light to those who are in darkness. Reveal the truth and wonder of God to those who do not know it or cannot yet see it! If we see something in our midst that is the work of the evil one, it is our duty to destroy it. We must shine light on what is evil and wrong so that we can purge it. We are called to lead those who are lost. Those who do not know the way to Jesus and are searching need us to be the landmarks. God has given us truth, goodness, and happiness. We should not be content with keeping these things to ourselves. There is a world around us who needs these gifts more than ever. Be encouraged! Be the gift! Then, together with those we have blessed, we can glorify our Father in Heaven!

The Gift of a Holy Card

Before you go, I would like to share with you a way to evangelize that you can start immediately: pass out Holy Cards. I know someone who started this practice long ago, and has easily handed out hundreds of them to friends and complete strangers. He shared this with me:

First of all, I find that the great majority of people to whom I offer holy cards accept them. I ask my server’s name when we go out to eat and then write them a brief ‘Thank you’ on the bottom of the card and leave it at the table when we leave. At one restaurant, I did that. We returned some months later and the server said with a big smile, “I remember you! I put the holy card up near our cash register!”

I also ask the name of the nurse who assists me at the various doctors I see. Then, I give them a holy card before I leave.

I recently returned to my Heart Doctor’s office and the nurse said, again with a big smile, “I placed your card near my computer screen!” I pass them out sometimes to others at the gas station as we’re waiting for our cars to fill up with gas. Most people accept them.

I also try to get some cards in Spanish, like Our Lady of Guadalupe. Once I gave one to a lady who said, “Do you have another one I could give my daughter?” I was blessed to oblige her.

I felt kind of self-conscious at first, handing these out. But the more I do it, the easier it gets. And most people say, “Thank you!”

At Autom Catholic, we have so many options to choose from! If you feel called, please visit the link to purchase some, get them blessed by a priest, and begin a new journey of evangelization! May you be blessed.

Before You Go

How do you feel about this Gospel?

Do you have any successful evangelization stories?

Did you learn anything new in this article?

I would LOVE to hear from you. Send me an email to Be sure to follow and subscribe to the links below for more tips and information.